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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > July 2017 > Not quite what we’re looking for

Not quite what we’re looking for

Getting rejection letters is part of a writer’s lot. Jan Snook offers a light-hearted interpretation of what editors actually mean


If you’ve never had – and never expect to get – a rejection letter, stop reading. Right now. (If you’re still reading just to sneer at us poor unloved rejected writers, please go away.) Okay, they’ve gone. But you’re still with me? Oh good, I’m not alone then.

As a regular reader of Writing Magazine, you will have read – and taken on board – all the good advice on coping with rejections. There are many excellent (well maybe not excellent, but possibly halfway valid) reasons why editors reject submissions, and it’s important not to take rejections personally. Perhaps the editor in question has just received an almost identical treatment from another writer. Or maybe they’ve received threatening phone calls from the finance department about not exceeding their budget ever again. Which is all perfectly understandable. Or maybe the real reason is that they think the writing is rubbish (less understandable, and obviously wrong)… But wouldn’t it be nice if, just for once, they’d say what they mean?

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About Writing Magazine

How do you follow up one of the biggest books of the decade? The Girl on the Train author Paula Hawkins tells us about changing tracks and writing the book that matters to you in our star interview. What do editors want? There can't be anyone in a better position to tell you than debut novelist Anna Pitoniak, who worked as a Big Five editor before landing her book deal. How is your year's writing plan going? As 2017 hits the halfway mark, we help you stay on target. Look for leads, find the most up-to-date markets for your work and enter the latest writing competitions, with more than £50,000 in writing prizes, in the Writers' News pages, packed with news you can use.

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